Going to Peru for the first time, I'd prepared myself for the planned tour by reading about it (barely two pages) in a trekking guide. Somehow I'd managed to get to the chapter about Cordillera Huayhuash and read the following: "This is the most strenuous high mountain hike in the Peruvian Andes, with the most passes and the biggest altitude differences... In return, this challenging trekking tour in one of the most magnificent mountain landscapes on Earth offers overwhelming impressions, incomparably beautiful panoramas with Peru's wildest mountains." :o Now that I saw it: it's true.


The background is the Comparative Overview of Peruvian Heights from the land's first atlas by Paz Soldan published 1865 in Paris. The chart contains information about 120 selected landscape features, five of them above 6,000 m: Pico de Sehama, 6,934 m, Pico de Parinacota, 6,714 m, Pico de Guatatiere, 6,693 m, Volcán Pichu-Pichu, 6,680 m, and Volcán Misti, 6,600 m. Those are meant to be Sajama, 6,542 m, now in Bolivia; Parinacota, 6,342 m, in Chile; Guallatire, 6,063 m, in Chile as well; Nevado Pichu Pichu, 5,665 m, and El Misti, 5,822 m, both in the Cordillera Volcánica near Arequipa. The world has changed, and become smaller...

Map image © Cartography Associates